K. T. Jagannathan

To rope in component vendors as co-developers of telecom SEZ

To develop the non-processing area within the SEZ

Asks State Govt. to set up an ITI near Sriperumbudur

CHENNAI: Mobile phone maker Nokia has decided to rope in component vendors who are setting up production facilities as co-developers of the telecom special economic zone (SEZ) it is setting up at Sriperumbudur near here.

It has already formed a society under the name and style of Nokia SEZ Park Society. It is a registered society. All the seven component vendors who are setting up shop at the SEZ will be members of the society.

To move BoA

Nokia will shortly move the Board of Approvals in the Central Government seeking clearance for the society to become co-developers of the telecom SEZ.

The Nokia Telecom Park has already signed up seven suppliers. They are Salcomp, Aspocomp, Foxconn, Perlos, Jabil, Laird and Wintek.

Salcomp had already begun supplying chargers to Nokia. Perlos and Jabil are expected to commence production sometime in the third quarter of 2007. By 2008, the rest are expected to go on stream.

Sachin Saxena, Operations Director, told The Hindu that while Nokia would be the principal developer of the process area in the SEZ, the Society would be the co-developer.

Benefits

Inducting a co-developer was aimed at helping the components vendors who set up shop at the SEZ to enjoy the development benefits such as income-tax exemption. Mr. Saxena said Nokia had also initiated parleys with some well-known builders from within the country and also from abroad to develop the non-processing area (around 15-20 acres) inside the SEZ by putting up club, medical centre, crèche and a dormitory.

He expected the work on developing the non-processing area to commence once the builder was identified.

Mr. Saxena said Nokia had also asked the State Government to set up an ITI near Sriperumbudur. Nokia, he said, offered to provide support in terms of providing the right training environment.

Key concern

Mr. Saxena said attrition could be a key concern in the coming days for Nokia and others in the region. “We have a plan for it,” he said. In this context, he said Nokia had taken 800 apprentices as part of a one-year vocational training programme.

“They have the freedom to go anywhere after that,” Mr. Sachin Saxena added. He singled out infrastructure outside the SEZ to be another key concern area.

The mobile phone facility of Nokia works 24 by 7 and employs close to 4,100 people. Seventy per cent are women.